Journal Entry

15 May 2006 ... Writing on Palm

Occasionally, instead of typing out my Static8 entries here on the computer, I will "type" them into my Palm handheld. When I first got my PDA -- a Palm Tungsten T2 -- in 2003, I did a few S8 entries on it, just for the novelty. It got tiresome after a while, though, because inputting text is really slow...

Palm onscreen QWERTY keyboard

There are two ways to input text on my handheld. The main way is with "Graffiti", you write the letters in a special area below the screen, with the stylus. (The graffiti area is the grey in the diagram to the left.) It's easy to learn, but produces typos when you don't shape your letters properly. Typos annoy me.

The other way, is to use the on-screen keyboard. It is just a standard QWERTY style, on the bottom half of the screen. You type the letters using the stylus... it's slow going because each letter button is small, and, while you don't have to "hunt" per se (since the letter configuration is familiar), you do have to "peck" since you've only got one tiny stylus to work with.

I have been doing some typing on my handheld, lately... Sometimes I get a decent writing idea after I've turned off my computer in the evening. The handheld is very handy for that! Other times, the computer is on, I just don't feel like sitting in front of it. I love my computer, and I spend a lot of time here... but it's nice to get away and still get my "work" done. (Perhaps a laptop computer would be ideal, but there's no money for that: a new digital camera comes first!)

So, anyway, after being annoyed at both inputting methods for their respective tedious properties, I was in the market for a new on-screen keyboard. I knew about the FITALY keyboard... it's a standard layout keyboard with the letters re-arranged to be quick for stylus typing. Unfortunately, they don't have a on-screen keyboard for my handheld: they've got one for black and white models (mine is colour) and they've got one for T3, T4 and T5 (mine is T2).

I would have been stuck with the Fitaly Stamp... which is a plastic or paper "overlay" on the Graffiti area. I really didn't want to bother with their silly overlay thing. The Graffiti area isn't lit, so I would not be able to type in the dark. I really wanted the Fitaly on-screen keyboard, but I'm not going to buy a T3, T4 or T5 just so I can have it! haha.

Fitaly is patented unfortunately, so I had to go looking for something else.

I found MessagEase.

the MessagEase keyboard in use

And I was very put off by it, at first. Because it doesn't look like a keyboard. It's a square with nine letter keys. And it takes up half the screen on the left or right side, instead of the bottom like I'm used to. It just looks funny, ya know? But, it's what I wanted: an on-screen keyboard. And even better? It's free!

So, I downloaded it yesterday, and the little tetris-type game with it. And I've been practicing. It's not difficult at all... the big letters are typed with a dot, the small letters are typed with a single, directional line. I think that in no time, I'll be pecking just as fast, probably faster, than the QWERTY.

ANI-HOR-TES. heh. And, since there are limited, large buttons on the MessagEase keyboard, there's the possibility to type without having to look directly at the keyboard. There's no way you could to that with standard layout keyboards.

So, I think I'm happy with this MessagEase program.

<<Before      ^^      After>>

You Are Here:

Static8 > Journal > Archive > 15 May 2006 Entry

Site Map